I'm a freelance writer living on the Sunshine Coast.
Published June 5th 2016
Anyone who has ever spent a holiday on the Sunshine Coast knows all about the best things that the Sunshine Coast has to offer such as the pristine beaches, perfect weather, and relaxed lifestyle. On the surface it seems like an idyllic paradise. But it's only after you've lived here for a couple of years that you begin to fully understand some of the trade-offs living in a regional area. Following is my top ten most annoying things about living on the Sunshine Coast.
1. Desperate For Work With an ever increasing population coupled with a declining economy, high unemployment is a way of life for many on the Sunshine Coast. In the 2015 March quarter the unemployment rate in the Sunshine Coast was 7.3%. But the figures do not include those who don't have a job and are not seeking work.
As the Sunshine Coast relies heavily on tourism, many of the available jobs are specifically within the hospitality/retail/trade industries. Other job opportunities can be found in the education and aged care/nursing sectors. Some people choose to commute to Brisbane because there are plenty more job opportunities there. Many others are FIFO workers. Just remember that competition for a job on the Sunshine Coast is fierce!
The Sunshine Coast offers a healthy lifestyle, but at what cost? (pic courtesy of author)
2. Internet Connectivity Poor Internet coverage is a problem both in remote areas and in areas experiencing rapid residential growth. Unfortunately, slow internet is a way of life for many suburbs on the Sunshine Coast until the NBN is fully completed by 2020.
Last year, a therapist in Coolum was unable to give me the address of a paediatrician because her internet was down. It didn't occur to her that her two kids were using the internet in another room! This year, a GP did not know where my nearest allergy clinic was located. Instead of searching the internet, she rang a colleague and received incorrect information. She gave me a non-existent address with a Brisbane phone number! This is not only embarrassing but it also lowers the standard of customer service in an age where so much information is at our very fingertips.
Even at home it becomes frustrating to use ADSL2 when everyone wants to use the internet at the same time. So if you are moving to the Sunshine Coast, make sure you find out exactly what type of connection is available in the area. Don't rely on the word of real estate agents!
3. Medical Services Often, you have to wait a week or more to book a GP. Either that or you have to book an appointment in another suburb. This is happening more in high residential areas. But as more and more estates are being built, medical (and education) services will continue to be stretched to the limit.
if you are thinking of moving to the Sunshine Coast and have family members with medical conditions, it may help to read the relevant sections of this website first.
4. Going The Distance
Travelling long distances is commonplace on the Sunshine Coast. Petrol prices on the Sunshine Coast are also more expensive than say Sydney. But at least there are less traffic lights with all those roundabouts! And if you are commuting regularly to Sydney or Melbourne then you will be very grateful for the convenience of the Sunshine Coast Airport.
5. Buses and Trains A poor Public Transport System that overcharges doesn't help either. People are always complaining about the bus service on Facebook. People are generally forced to travel everywhere by car. Nambour has the only train station to Brisbane.
If you want to move to the Sunshine Coast with your family, make sure you are central to schools and shops and medical centres. Alternatively, lots of kids here ride their bikes to school. Some private schools even have their own buses which is very convenient if you have other work commitments.
6. Local Business
During winter, the coast looks and feels empty compared to the crowds flocking to the Sunshine Coast during the peak summer holiday season. During Summer and special events be prepared for crowds, crowds and more crowds. Beaches are full at Noosa and parking spaces are often non-existent. This is also the time when local businesses make big $$$$. So if you are thinking of starting up a business on the Sunshine Coast, you will need to think carefully about ALL the ups and downs! Will your business survive a ghost-town winter? So many businesses have closed down recently, even within high-traffic areas.
7. Summer Humidity
Some people never get used to the high humidity during the Summer months (December - February). If you are not using air con, you will feel like taking a shower three times a day. If you have a swimming pool, that's another good option. But by then the water temperature is over 30 degrees, so the only real relief you can get is from air conditioning. The key to not feeling the effects of dehydration is keeping up fluids and electrolytes, especially magnesium. Chewing ice cubes also helps.
Sunshine Plaza in Maroochydore is the main shopping centre for many of us.. (pic courtesy of author)
8. Retail Therapy
Most places on the coast have limited shopping options compared to large cities. We tend to shop at different shopping centres to get everything we want. For example, Big W is at Noosa, while Target and Kmart are at Maroochydore's Sunshine Plaza. On the other hand, some shops such as Rivers, Bunnings and Aldi are at Noosa and Maroochydore.
All the homemaker centres seem to be at Maroochydore, which is not surprising because it is the major business centre of the Sunshine Coast.
9. Night Life
Err what night life? I hope you like looking at the stars because not much happens after dark in our sleepy coastal towns. Eateries close relatively early. Pubs and clubs are the go if you want to stare at big TV screens or play pool or Keno etc. So if you are a party animal/night owl you may need to stay in the big smoke.
10. Creepy Crawlies
How do you feel about snakes, frogs, and toads visiting your garden? You might think snakes live only in the bush or on acreage. Well, the truth is snakes are everywhere in QLD, especially in the suburbs. Many residents on the Sunshine Coast are pet owners. Pet food brings in mice to your garden, which attracts the snakes. Most of the time they are just passing through, so there's no need to call the snake catcher. But if you find one in the house that's a different story! Just make sure you keep all the doors closed at all times to avoid this happening.
The Sunshine Coast is a beautiful and unique part of the world and I would not choose to live anywhere else! With the creation of more and more housing estates, people are moving away from capital cities and flocking to the Sunshine Coast because they are choosing to bring up their families in a safer, family-oriented community, complete with protected, natural environment. Nothing compares to such a privileged lifestyle change!
Try living in Perth suburbs you would soon want to come back here to the best place in Australia,who would want to live in Brisbane or any other large city, Plus I think the sunshine coast council is fantastic compared to any I know in WA.